chapter  11
16 Pages

Aleatory Marxism

Resnick, Wolff, and the revivification of Althusser
ByJoseph W. Childers

The work of Steve Resnick and Rick Wolff has been relegated to the margins of the discipline they professed. The author attempts to situate the effect of their work on thinkers who, because they are trained as literary critics and theorists, become disciplinary tourists. The author highlights the resonance of Resnick and Wolff's work across large disciplinary divides—such as those between the social sciences and the humanities. Even contemporary theoretical articulations ostensibly refusing a Marxist foregrounding of dialectical thinking or of concepts such as value, class, and exploitation are substantially informed by the legacy of Marxist thought and their relation to it. The author argues that the work of Resnick and Wolff revolutionized Louis Althusser, offering a liberatory moment that insists upon the aleatory, celebrates it, and indeed finds within it the possibility of an analytic that has broad ramifications for social inquiry in every register.